A tale of two communities

How does outlook on life influence the way a community lives together?

A community lived in a world where there were very few permanent structures.  They set up camp using tents that could be moved if need be.  They travelled around during the different seasons to ensure they were always near a reasonable source of food.  The families all lived together as one, sharing their food, time and skills.  Each person had a responsibility and they all worked together to ensure the survival of the community.

One day tragedy struck.  A young baby was bitten by a very poisonous snake.  This baby suffered for many hours before she passed away.  While she was ill the whole community came around to comfort and support the child, but no-one was able to save this baby’s life.  As devastated as the mother was, her belief was that this is the circle of life, and she felt a sense of inevitability.  She had done as much as she could for the child, but the Great Spirit had called her baby back.

A second community was one that had more permanent structures.  They had set down roots and felt their home was where they had built their houses.  But having fixed structures meant that there were times when food was very hard to come by.  Having watched children die because of the lack of food, the elders decided they needed more.  They wanted more land, more people and more food.  So the strongest and most influence men came together and went out in search of more.  They found other villages and towns and with force took over these towns.  They declared the people in the villages to be part of their tribe and expected them to all work together to ensure the whole community had enough.

But this group of people had been brought together through fighting and violence, so they did not offer each other support.  It was one large tribe but it was made up of many individual families.  There was a very limited sense of community, which meant for some families the struggle to find food remained.  The extra people in the community did not change this.

So here we see two different communities:

  • The first does not make much effort to change and improve their life.  They are accepting of their place in nature and have no desire to try and change things.
  • The second community does want to make a better life.  In trying to do this, there is much violence and in the end they get what they went searching for – more land and more people.  But this doesn’t make things better in the way that they hoped.

How do we look at the world?  Do we accept it as how life is, or do we fight for change? Does the fight bring the expected change or is there a better way to do this?

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